September 5, 2018
The personnel involved in the below incident have been identified as Detective II Jason Leikam, Serial No. 35730 and Detective I Jose Hidalgo, Serial No. 37533 assigned to Gang and Narcotics Division
**The following information is based on a preliminary and ongoing investigation, which continues to evolve as investigators interview witnesses, review physical and electronic records, and analyze forensic evidence. The Department’s understanding of the facts and circumstances may change as additional evidence is collected and analyzed**
Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department’s Force Investigation Division is investigating an officer-involved shooting which occurred when investigators located a murder suspect.
On July 31, 2018, around 3:15 p.m., 70-year-old Daniel Valdez was at an auto body shop in Newton Area when he became involved in a dispute with two family members. During the dispute, Valdez shot two men, killing one of them. Newton Homicide detectives responded to the crime scene and began their investigation. They quickly identified Valdez as the suspect in the shooting. They requested the assistance of Gang and Narcotics Division (GND) personnel to locate Valdez.
On August 7, 2018, around 11:00 a.m. plain clothes GND officers assigned Fugitive Warrant Section, along with a Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) agent were at a motel in the area of 41st Street and Central Avenue. They believed Valdez was at the motel and they were going to arrest him on a warrant detectives had obtained for the murder on July 31st. As the officers and the agent approached the motel, Valdez shot at the officers. The FBI agent was struck in the hand by gunfire. The officers returned fire and Valdez was struck and fell to the ground.
The Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) responded and determined Valdez to be dead. The FBI agent was transported by the LAFD to a local hospital where he received medical treatment.
A handgun was located at the scene and booked as evidence by investigators.
LAPD’s specialized Force Investigation Division responded to the scene and began interviewing witnesses and collecting forensic evidence. Representatives from the Office of the Inspector General and Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division responded and monitored the investigation.
The complete investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police and the Board of Police Commissioners and the Office of the Inspector General to determine the thoroughness and accuracy of the investigation and whether the use of deadly force complied with the LAPD’s policies and procedures. Additionally, representatives from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who responded to the scene will review the subsequent FID investigation; evidence collected and witness statements to determine if the force used by the officer(s) violated any criminal laws.
Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is urged to call the LAPD at any of the following numbers: During business hours at (213) 486-5230; During non-business hours or on weekends at (877)-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247); Anonymously 24-hours a day to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or by texting “LAPD” and your tip to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S); or Online at www.lapdonline.org and click on “Anonymous Web Tips.”